Game Cover

Game Cover

Grainfarmers Arable, as one of the countries leading suppliers of game cover crops, is pleased to introduce to you our product portfolio of game cover crops. Our aim is to supply very high quality seed products and advice, which will ultimately help you successfully establish a first class crop.

Game Cover Maize
Chose from either a straight variety or a maize blend.

A good stay green variety, excellent standing power, strong stem and good early vigour. Atugan has a very good lodging resistance, with regular ear placement and known for its high grain yield potential. The variety will cover the ground well with its large leaves. Available Thiram/ Mesurol treated, and sold in 50,000 seed packs, (sow at 45,000 seeds/ acre).

Hi-Bird Blend
Well proven throughout the UK and designed to provide consistent cover. This three-way blend contains, early, intermediate and late maturing varieties, all of which have excellent standing power that will avoid lodging later in the season. Available Thiram only or Thiram/ Mesurol treated. Sold in 50,000 seed packs. (Sow at 45,000 seeds/ acre).

Hi-Bird 300
This is a two-way blend of very late maturing varieties. Hi-Bird 300’s maturity should ensure minimal cob development, which in turn should deter both rats and badgers. If your soils temperatures are not suitable for growing sorghum, Hi-Bird 300 would make an excellent alternative.

Please click here for Growers Guidelines for Game Cover Maize.

Sorghum is fast becoming the most popular cover crop and becoming a firm favourite with keepers, but please remember that sorghum is not suitable for Northern England and Scotland.

Dwarf ‘Shorty’ Sorghum

Dwarf Sorghum reaches heights of around 3 to 4ft. Due to its late maturity it will provide driving and winter holding until the end of the season. Ideal for flushing points within maize plots, but remember to delay drilling until soil temperatures have reached 15°C for three consecutive days. Dwarf Sorghum is Atrazine resistant and can replace kale as an excellent driving crop.

Giant ‘Jumbo’ Sorghum

Similar characteristics to Dwarf Sorghum, but will provide very tall dense cover and Will reach heights of over 6ft. Jumbo provides vigorous growth of a very tall dense cover, ideal for a windbreak surrounding maize. Care should be taken when grazing stock and deer, as sorghum can be toxic at the early stages of growth.

Please click here for Growers Guidelines for Sorghum.

An excellent game cover crop, which can also be used to enhance maize. It produces good, low cover for partridges and pheasants with the seed heads providing food.

White Millet
The most popular type, white millet will produce an abundance of small seed for birds with its very large seed heads. Often sown in conjunction with maize or kale to provide feed and flushing points. White Millet is thicker leaved and has a better standing power that Red Millet. Atrazine resistant.

Red Millet
Earlier maturing than white millet, but with smaller seed heads. As with all millets care should be taken not to drill to early as it favours warm soils.

Tanka Millet Mix
Contains a blend of winter hardy Tanka and white millet. Tanka millet can stand until February and has been trialled successfully throughout the UK. Tanka is ideal as a windproof belt on the outside strips of maize and kale. It also makes an ideal flushing point drilled at the end of maize crops.

Top Flush Millet Mix
Top Flush Millet Blend is a mixture of white, red and hybrid pearl millet. In order of maturity red millet is early, followed by white millet, then finishing with the hybrid pearl millet. Seed will continually shed from August to December. Can be sown with maize to add extra feed value.

Please click here for Growers Guidelines for Millets.

Kale is probably the most extensively used game cover crop in the UK. It will provide excellent top cover with a bare floor season long.

Keeper Kale
A British bred kale with excellent winter hardiness. It has a high leaf to stem ratio, which means an excellent protective canopy is formed. Keeper holds its leaves high on the stem, creating bird runs with easy access.

Caledonian Kale
Caledonian is the first kale variety to be bred with club root resistance. It will provide excellent full season cover from September to February. Due to its club root resistance, Caledonian can be sown on brassica sick sites.

Keeper and Caledonian kales can be supplied Combicoat treated to help prevent flea beetle damage.

Interval Forage Rape
When you hear people mentioning Kale Rape, this is it!! Bred by the Scottish Research Institute, Interval is a tall rape with kale characteristics. Very winter hardy and it will grow on poorer soils, and it is possible to achieve a crop of 1 metre in height.

Please click here for Growers Guidelines for Kale.

Originally grown as a grain crop in South America. The crop is capable of producing over a tonne per acre of high protein (14%) seed, which will be produced at the top of the 1.5m stem. The seeds shed steadily throughout the shooting season, providing very palatable and nutritious food for game and song birds. Quinoa is best sown with a companion crop such as kale.

Kingmix/ Kingmix 2000
This is an extremely popular blend of Sandoval Quinoa and Coleor Kale. Kingmix contains 1kg of kale and 2kgs of quinoa. Kingmix 2000 if for kales with club root problems as it contains the kale variety Caledonian.

Please click here for Growers Guidelines for Kingmix.

The Game Cover Mixture Range
Why sow a mixture??
They are carefully formulated to provide,
. A varied canopy of crop heights.
. Balance of species.
. Provides feed and cover.
Ease of sowing (broadcasting).
Compliant with current agri-environment schemes and set aside.
Huge environmental benefit not just to game birds, but song birds too.

A traditional mixture providing both cover and seed shedding properties. Setter can be left in place for two years and provides a wonderful habitat for insects and birds.
Contains Phacelia, Mustard, Sweet Clover, Kale, Millet, Buckwheat, Maize, Sunflower. Packed in 10kg, 1 acre units.

This mixture, which was designed specifically for use in cooler more exposed conditions, provides cover and some feed potential. It is good for attracting insects and may last up to two years depending on the weather and management.
Contains Spring Beans, Mustard, Sweet Clover, Kale, Spring Triticale. Packed in 20kg, 1 acre units.

Updated for 2006. Driver has been specifically designed to show birds on the most inclement of days. It will provide good cover combined with excellent feed value throughout the season. It is also ideal for holding and driving partridges due to its thinner canopy and wet weather, dry cover design.
Contains Kale, Linseed, Gold of Pleasure, Sandoval Quinoa. Packed in 6.5kg, 1 acre units.

Golden Retriever
Designed to provide a full seasons cover, but also to allow a herbicide weed control programme to be used. Dwarf sorghum will provide excellent cover with its very stiff stems, while the sunflowers and millets shed throughout the autumn. This mixture is ideal for winter holding situations, as well as providing good driving cover.
Contains Dwarf Sorghum, Dwarf Sunflowers, Millet Blend. Packed in 10kg, 1 acre units.

Gold Combination
A carefully blended mixture of game cover maize and sunflower seeds that will provide a full season cover and feed. Can be drilled as early as June and will provide a fantastic feed source for wild birds, as well as proving a splash of colour to your shoot.
Contains Hi-Bird Game Maize, Sunflowers. Packed in 15kg, 1 acre units.

Can be sown either in the spring or the summer for use in the following year. Pointer can be used for long term shooting or nesting cover and is ideal for sowing along hedgerows. It is very important to manage Pointer properly. The rows should be cut out on a yearly basis to limit bottom growth and if well managed it can last as long as seven years. This mixture is highly suitable for Northern England and Scotland.
Contains Sweet Clover, Cocksfoot, Canary Grass. Packed in 4kg, 1 acre units.

This is a summer sown, drought tolerant game cover mixture which will establish to provide autumn cover through to February. Its main use is to replace failed spring sown cover crops. Spaniel is very fast to establish and will provide a decent amount of cover in a relatively short time.
Contains Texel Greens, Forage Rape, Mustard, Fodder Radish. Packed in 4.5kg, 1 acre packs.

Other Useful Crops
As well as all of the above different options, there are also various other crops, which you may find useful.

Reed Canary Grass – UK native variety. Perennial long lasting crop, very useful around duck ponds.
Canary Grass – Think stand in 2nd year, will last up to 7 years. Will need careful management.
Buckwheat – Thick bushy seed producing plant. Attractive to ducks and geese.
Spring Triticale – Ideal cereal for game cover. New spring variety to ensure seed head production. Good for poor soils.
Dwarf Sunflowers – Grow to approx 1-1.5m, with a large seed head. Best grown within a mixture.
Gold of Pleasure – Loved by partridges. Been shown to suppress many weed species!
Linseed – Fast to establish and liked by partridges because of its thin canopy and palatable seeds.
Spring Beans – An excellent source of feed, however they do produce a lot of cover if sown on their own.
Sweet Clover – A nectar producing clover, with excellent seeding vigour. Fixes nitrogen.
Chicory – Biennial crop that provides excellent tall cover in the second year.
Mustard – Fast establishing, drought tolerant cover crop. Rapid germination.
Texel Greens – Can be used in the same way as mustard, but more winter hardy.
Phacelia -Extremely fast growing catch crop. Competes well with weeds. Good insect attracter.

For more details on the above or for the latest copy of the Hi-Bird catalogue please contact [email protected] or phone Toby on 01962 794605.